New York has lost an opportunity at nearly 25,000 jobs, and to the 430k out of work, those jobs were desperately needed. Amazon announced on February 14th, 2019 that it would back out of its plan to build HQ2 in Long Island, New York.
The epicenter of American business, New York, champions a 4.5% unemployment rate, which comes to around 430,000 persons out of work for various reasons. Amazon, while not the best company to work for, would have brought roughly 25,000 jobs to the region, which would have a profound effect in regards to the unemployment rate. Further, the behemoth of a company would have generated nearly $27.5 billion in tax revenue over the course of 25 years.
To make matters more interesting, the average wage for the 25,000 jobs created would have hovered in between $100,000 to $125,000 per year for persons employed. In addition, the previously mentioned numbers include only those who would have worked directly for Amazon, this doesn’t count the vendors, contractors, and or construction workers who would have benefited also.
Amazon is not the best company; in fact, there are droves of issues regarding workplace conditions; however, Amazon has worked to improve these conditions throughout the last several years. For example, in October of 2018 Amazon increased its minimum wages to $15.00 per hour, and every hourly employee already making that amount saw an increase in their salaries as well.
In addition, Amazon has fought the ability for its workers to form a union, the most recent example is when maintenance and repair technicians contacted the National Labor Relations Board and announced their intention to establish what would have been Amazon’s first union. Amazon immediately hired a law firm to suppress the organizing effort.
While Amazon does have plenty of woes regarding the workplace, 613,300 persons work for Amazon worldwide, and in an economy that is transforming into a platform based model Amazon also offers job security.
Further, the behemoth of a company is largely to blame for the death spiral of brick and mortar retail; as is Walmart, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. However, as the world increasingly looks to digitize the economy New Yorker’s will miss out on droves of jobs for thousands of people.
Interestingly enough, politicians, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are claiming this as a victory. Cortez stated on Twitter; “Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.”
In response to the objections by local politicians Amazon said in a statement; “While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City.”